Flexible solar panels aren’t exactly at the top of most people’s prep list. Prepping isn’t just about food and water. It’s not just about stacking a whole heap of emergency supplies around the place and waiting for the apocalypse to arrive.
There’s a lot of things to consider when drawing up a wholesome survival plan, things that may not even sound like being an option when civilization crumbles.
There’s a lot more to living a long and fruitful life after disaster strikes. Even if the disaster is just a minor event, the ramifications of losing essential services and utilities can be disastrous in themselves.
Do you realize how much our lives depend on electricity? Not just the electricity you tap into through your wall socket, but the electricity that operates essential services.
Life would come to a quick halt if the power grid ever collapsed. The scary part is that we have already had a taste of the consequences, more than once or twice. A power blackout is but a tiny reminder that our lives are already substantially reliant on power.
Without it, most of our appliances cannot operate and those that run on batteries, quickly fail as their power supplies dwindle. So, how do you prepare for the inevitable?
What Are Solar Panels?
That massive ball of light in our daily sky is far more than just a light source. The energy given off by that star is equivalent to a number ending with 26 zeros. A simpler comparison is that the sun delivers enough energy in 2 minutes, to power the entire earth for a year.
Technology takes the light given off by the sun and turns it into electricity. It does this by catching the light on solar panels and converting it into DC or Direct Current electricity. This energy directs into an inverter that converts the DC power into AC, or Alternating Current electricity.
While some of this technology might seem beyond your reach in price and availability, there are other options far more accessible. Once you see the differences between them and the prices, you might be intrigued enough to check them out. You might ask yourself what are solar panels made of to make them so expensive.
They comprise silicon wafers that turn the light into power. Several distinct processes need to treat the silicon, from purification to doping. It can be a laborious process, adding to the cost of the panels. There are many different panels, but the one we will focus on for this article are the flexible solar panels.
Flexible Solar Panels are the Answer
Solar energy has been around since time began, but using this power has only really occurred during the past few decades. As technology improves, so does benefiting from the efficiency of solar panels. I’ve often seen the advertisements on television, actively marketing using solar panels on the roof. But how much do solar panels cost?
The price of the standard panels is often in the thousands, money not many people have lying around. But there might just be an alternative worth checking out. Besides flexible solar panels, this article on the Backyard Revolution might also excite you to the possibilities of solar power.
The prices some of these options are, might just be the difference between powering up your life after the power grid all but disappears, and living out your days in some dark cave. While there are many types of solar panels, most flexible solar panels fall under 2 basic categories.
Thin-film solar panels use a photo-voltaic material, a process printing it onto the surface of the panel. The major benefit of using this method is having the solar panel much more flexible, used in many applications.
There are definite solar panels pros and cons with either variety, but a definite con with this type is that it’s not as readily available around the world.
Crystalline silicon solar panels use an element abundant on most beaches. Silicon is the second most abundant element on the planet and using wafers of silicon gives this type a distinct advantage. The wafers are thicker than the printed materials but, thus lose their flexibility.
Things to Consider When Choosing Flexible Solar Panels
Tip #1: Check Reviews
There’s a distinct advantage to living in the age of the internet. It gives ordinary people like you and me the chance to share our shopping experiences with other consumers. This means that manufacturers can no longer hide behind inferior products without someone calling them out for it.
Before you select your top-rated solar panels, be sure to check what other people have said about the product. Don’t just look at the overall star rating. Be sure to get right in amongst the comments and see why people either love them or hate them.
Tip #2: Check the Warranty
There is one sure fire way to check whether a manufacturer has faith in their own products. If they offer a significant warranty for an extended period, then you know they expect that product to last for at least that long.
Inferior products often offer very short warranties, relieving the manufacturer of all responsibilities once the period is up. A 6-month or 12-month warranty in today’s world is short, so do your homework on this aspect.
Tip #3: Compare Prices
There’s a common misconception with products nowadays that the most expensive is often the best. That may have been true 20 or 30 years ago, but, many of the manufacturers who supply inferior products have cottoned on.
They price their products as if it is top-notch, but what you might end up with is far from the quality you expect.
Tip #4: Be Aware of False Marketing
Many of today’s consumers are unaware of just how much technology manufacturers share between each other. While many television brands exist, most of them use panels made by the main manufacturers. This leads many to assume that they are purchasing a product that came from one brand but made up of the quality of another.
The issue with this is that the brand may use the name of the better-quality manufacturer to try and pass if off as their own. SunPower is one such solar panel manufacturer, used by other brands that may try and use the name for sub-quality products. Again, be sure to research your products before you commit to buy them.
Tip #5: Choose ETFE instead of PET
Cheaper panels will often reduce costs by using cheaper materials in their products. PET or polyethylene terephthalate which isn’t as durable and doesn’t transmit light as well as ETFE panels. When you think about how to clean solar panels, using a higher-quality variety will benefit you more.
There’s so much solar panels information out there that it can get quite confusing. While you might consider standard rooftop solar panels, portable solar panels are also a worthwhile investment.
They are flexible, hard-wearing and affordable, making them perfect for a bug out location or bug out vehicle. The many uses they can provide when the power grid is gone will see you set up for power for a long time to come.